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Anyone grow okra?

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Anyone grow okra? Empty Anyone grow okra?

Post  argardener on 5/1/2010, 11:14 pm

I have never grown okra, but it is a very popular veggie in the south. No results found for okra in the SFG search. I haven't checked the book yet, but wanted to know what experience anyone may have had.

TIA
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Post  JennaAnnMartin on 5/2/2010, 10:21 am

I'm growing Okra. Its one of the few plants that can handle the summers in Florida. You plant one per square. Mine have just recently sprouted and are coming on strong. Okra is great breaded and fried, pickled, put in soups and gumbos, etc.



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Post  sceleste54 on 5/2/2010, 10:53 am

My experience with Okra.. Once its up and growing, stand back and prepare to pick ! Like every day pick.. Don't let the pods get too big or they are tough. Its one of my favorite vegetables.
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Post  Shoda on 5/2/2010, 10:59 am

Does Okra need to be started early in order to be productive? I mean can I put a seed in the ground now and have it produce? Or should I have started seedlings months ago if I wanted to plant one? We are in 8b and have pretty hot summers.
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Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/2/2010, 11:00 am

Oh, yeah okra! I grow it and love it just about any way. This is my first year growing in a SFG, but planted 1 per square as recommended. But I have my doubts. Year before last my okra topped out at 8' -- started with three rows in a grid about 6x6', and then started pulling plants as they got too large. Ended up with just 4 plants towards the end of the season and still harvested a pint a day. But it freezes well and who can complain about too many okra pickles?
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Post  al on 5/2/2010, 11:30 am

I plant direct into garden. Have not had good luck with seedlings.

Happy Gardening
Al
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Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/2/2010, 11:32 am

@Shoda wrote:Does Okra need to be started early in order to be productive? I mean can I put a seed in the ground now and have it produce? Or should I have started seedlings months ago if I wanted to plant one? We are in 8b and have pretty hot summers.

Okra does not transplant well and needs to be started in the garden when the soil has warmed up. Around here that is May 1st. I jumped the season and seeded some the first week of April and they are just now putting on their true leaves. They really like it hot!
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Post  timwardell on 5/2/2010, 11:43 am

I planted okra last year. 1 per square. Do NOT plant more than that! It can get bushy and it DOES get tall. Mine topped out at 6 feet!
I agree that you do want to harvest daily or at least every other day. If the okra gets too long it is tough, hard to eat, and not that tasty. The shorter/younger/newer "fruit" is much better.
Search YouTube for "okra" I'm almost certain I saw a video there last year of a guy with a 15 foot tall okra plant.
I'm not planting it this year because no one else in the household ate it but me and I simply didn't have room for it this year. Might try it again next year if I build some new boxes.
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Post  ander217 on 5/2/2010, 7:21 pm

I love okra. There are many varieties, and some grow really tall, others are shorter, some put out lots of side branches, and there are even vining varieties.

We plant okra here when the soil is warm - when the farmers plant cotton it's usually okay to plant okra.

We like it sliced, rolled in cornmeal and fried, and I also like to cut whole pods when they are small (don't cut into the pod itself or it will get slimy when it's cooked - leave some stem on) and I boil them whole. One of my summer traditions is adding a few small pods of okra to the first pan of boiled green beans. I serve them with the pods arranged on top. I add them when the beans are almost done so the pods don't cook so long that they split and get slimy.
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Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/2/2010, 9:43 pm

Have you ever just eaten it raw and sun warmed right in the garden? Nothing better!
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Post  Ole Joe Clark on 5/2/2010, 11:05 pm

When I had a large row garden I planted okra every year. The ground has got to be warm or you are wasting your time planting. Soaking the seed helps too. The ground should be warm enough in the south.
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Post  argardener on 5/3/2010, 10:31 pm

Thanks for all the replies, I'm going to go buy some okra seeds and plant this week. I will probably only plant one as my daughter and I are the only ones who will eat it, in the corner of the "L" bed, that way it wont matter how tall it gets!

Thanks everyone,
Rebecca
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Post  Shoda on 9/16/2010, 11:36 pm

Our summer was quite cool but I finally have ONE red okra on my okra plant. Isn't it cute! Since it is cooling down quite a bit, I don't expect to get more. What can I do with one okra?

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Post  Retired Member 1 on 9/17/2010, 7:29 am

Slice and put with other veggies in a medley, or my favourite, eat raw right from the garden after the sun has warmed it. Yummy! Where did you find red okra seeds?
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Post  kiwirose on 9/17/2010, 7:44 am

I toss mine in olive oil and salt and pepper, then bake in the oven 425F for 15 minutes, turning once. delish - this was my first year growing okra and is my new fav home grown vege I will plant many more plants next year Smile
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Post  ander217 on 9/17/2010, 8:54 am

When I have only a few pods of okra I slice them and add to a mixture of diced onions, potatoes, and maybe a diced green tomato or summer squash, sprinkle with salt, and toss them all in corn meal. Saute in a little oil until veggies are tender and browned. (I usually use pre-cooked potatoes, or else dice them small so they will be done at the same time as the other veggies.) If you don't eat fried foods, you can drizzle a little oil over all and roast them in the oven, but I prefer sauteeing.

I also dice a pod or two into vegetable soup.

I don't know what variety you have, but your pod looks really long. Some varieties will hold that long, but others need to be picked when smaller or they get too hard.
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Post  Ha-v-v on 9/17/2010, 9:03 am

I had great success with okra I transplanted Smile I put two to a square. They were my only two. One did really well and thats about all I needed for my fam, this year anyway. Next year we will see, I havent made any hard decisions yet for next year.
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Post  Shoda on 9/17/2010, 12:13 pm

Those ideas sound wonderful! The seeds I purchased at a local nursery. It is called Red Burgundy Okra by Lake Valley Seed company. It is a really pretty plant I think it was slow to grow because of our cool summer. I will definitely try it again next year.
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Post  kiwirose on 9/17/2010, 12:49 pm

lol - I forgot to mention - my first batch of okra that I picked, I had let a couple get a little too big (understatement), and my husband was laughing at me - I would suck all the yummieness from the okra and spit out the woody fibres - not the best texture, but the flavor was still really good - I am much more diligent picking them now. My plants were also slow to take off - partly because of when the deer broke into the garden and ate them to the ground I am sure, and partly possibly because of the hot and dry summer - I have struggles keeping everything watered enough and for the longest time I thought my OKRA werent going to do anything so I didn't look after them as nicely as I should have - and they are still producing for me - how sweet and forgiving of them Smile

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Post  The Cat's Other Mother on 9/17/2010, 1:22 pm

I put in a single plant in June, mainly because I had a free square and it was a buck. It's done okay, but not terribly prolific, and a single plant doesn't allow me to cook okra the way I like(breaded and fried) but I've enjoyed tossing a few in with other sauteed veggies and with stew.
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Post  ribarr4 on 9/17/2010, 3:54 pm

My wife and I love okra and have been growing it in our SFG near Nashville TN for 15 years. It really loves worm southern nights and ours gets to 6+ft. We keep freezer bags with a little flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper in them in the freezer and when we harvest every day or so we just chop it up, chunk it the bags, and toss it a little and then back in the freezer. When we get enough to fry up all we have to do is heat up the oil and fry it up.

This year we planted 16 plants (1/sqft) and we manged to eat all we wanted and keep 4 extra gallon sized bags for the rest of the year.

Happy growing
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Post  GloriaG on 9/17/2010, 5:35 pm

I'm growing okra in a self-watering container because it needs lots of space and water. Three plants to a 14" cube.

I searched online and found a "dwarf" longpod variety that only grows to about 3' tall. It's just as prolific as the regular - but I don't have to climb a ladder to cut the okra. Right now, Hirt's Gardens has them for $0.99 for 150 seeds, http://hirts-gardens.amazonwebstore.com/Dwarf-Long-Pod-Okra-150-Seeds/M/B001JOLQ5Y.htm?traffic_src=froogle&utm_medium=organic&utm_source=froogle

I planted them in April and I'm still getting okra every day.
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Post  CarolynPhillips on 9/17/2010, 9:35 pm

you can transplant okra-----this is the secret:
You have to sow okra in individual cell packs---so each seed has it's own
space for its own roots===so when it is transplanted, the roots are not disturbed.
I do it every year.

The way I like okra is fried------and I like it boiled. The trick with getting less
slime with boiled okra is boil it in lots of water. The more water you have, the less slime
there will be. Pull it out of the boiling water when it is fork tender. Then I put a little butter over it. Little salt,,,,,,,,,and serve with cold sliced salty tomato.
The best summer lunch ever.

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Post  Shoda on 9/18/2010, 11:32 pm

When you say individual cell packs, do you mean like the peat packs where you plant the entire thing? Or plastic where you pop it out?
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Post  CarolynPhillips on 9/19/2010, 8:20 pm

I was thinking Plastic cause I hate peat pots but I like the peat pellets.
Problem with peat pellets is they have to be kept separated from other peat pellets
or their roots run through the neighboring pellet.
So for Okra---plastic. For home gardeners---those little bath rinsing cups work great.
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